The Canary View is a smart indoor security camera that is easy to put anywhere in your house, is packed with handy features, retails for $99 and is often on sale for as little as $50 or free with a one year membership.
My favorite features are that it knows when a member of the family is home and can turn off recording and alerts and that it knows if the motion detected when no one is home is a person — so you know if you need to be concerned.
You can buy the Canary View direct from Canary, at Amazon or at Best Buy starting at $49 on sale. Right now you can get the Canary View free when you buy a year of Canary Membership for $99.
Canary makes a range of smart home security monitors, and the Canary View is the most affordable indoor option. Setup is incredibly simple, and it is easy to move around your house if you want to test out different locations while you decide if you need multiple units.
Simply plug the Canary View into power, connect to your WiFi and you are good to go. In all, it took me about 5 minutes to setup the Canary View in my home office and when I unplugged it to move to another room for testing it reconnected quickly and was ready to go.
The View is a little taller than a can of pop and unobtrusive with colors that blend in nicely to the surrounding decor. That’s a plus for a camera like this that you want to disappear into the surroundings instead of being easily visible like an outdoor camera.
With the Canary View, you get a 1080P camera with a 147 degree angle lens and automatic night vision. There is a microphone and a speaker, so you can listen in and audio is recorded. With the plan you can use two-way chat to talk to someone at home or talk to your pets if you use it to keep an eye on them.
The video quality is great for an indoor camera and the wide-angle allows me to capture a whole room easily with one camera. The people detection is spot on, and I like that it shows a picture of the person it detects when it sends the alert so you can see what is happening even when you just glance at the notification on the Apple Watch. One catch is that it can take a minute or two for the notification to come through at times. Sometimes the notification is almost instant, and the next time it comes a bit late.
With the View, you can ask Google Assistant who is home, and if you have an Echo Show, Echo Spot, Fire TV or Fire TV Stick 2nd gen you can use it to view the camera with your voice.
The View knows if you or another family member are home based on your phone’s location, which makes setting a home mode easy, and it prevents annoying motion or person alerts for the family member who is not home.
If you choose the View, you pass on humidity and temperature sensors, a built-in siren and an ethernet port that are available on the Canary All-in-One. These are nice features, but if you just want an online camera that is easy to set up and reliable, the Canary View fits the bill.
Out of the box you get 1 day of video history and 24/7 Live view support. You need to buy a Canary membership to unlock 30 days of video history, full length videos and two-way chat. With the Membership you also get unlimited video downloads, custom modes, a longer device warranty and help from Canary if you need help after a break in.
I do wish that the Canary recorded what you see when you do a live view, as you may see something you want recorded. The Watch live feature usually connects pretty quickly.
I tested the Canary with a free basic membership and the Premium membership and was still pleased with what it can do without a monthly fee. I do wish the clips were longer with the free service, but for many users 1 day of storage is enough. I don’t need two-way chat often in the house and unless I need to share a video I don’t need to download anything. The membership is $9.99 a month or $99 a year. If you buy direct from Canary you can get the Canary View free with the purchase of a membership.
While you can get more features without a membership or with a cheaper membership like the Nest Aware subscription, you’re paying $199 to $299 for the Nest camera compared to $49 for the Canary View or free with a Premium membership purchase.